Youth- not necessarily wasted on the young

First off, I’m surprised by how well my post yesterday was received. Christian Hansen saw the post and actually linked to it, perhaps in boast that I, too, am another victim of his evil plan to get his songs stuck in the head of every person in the world. Also thanks to Steve, who shared his all-too-familiar story of his own experience with the Christian Hansen ear worm.

Today, actually just a few hours ago, I found out about a show happening tonight in Toronto that I will most certainly be going to. It involves two bands I really like, Graydon James & the Young Novelists and Harlan Pepper.

It’s the latter band that got me thinking today. Harlan Pepper have been around for a few years now and making some waves. They just turned 19 last year. Let that sink in for a second. And let me also say that they play some really, really great roots-flavoured music. Let that sink in for another few seconds. Harlan Pepper are a band that probably make many people (myself included) say “What am I doing with my life?”

It really warms my heart (and also makes me feel like crap) to see young people take things really seriously and do amazing things before turning 20. Lord knows I had dreams to do the same- when I was twelve I first tried my hand at a novel (I think I made it to 70 double-spaced pages, then forgot about it, then it was lost forever in a computer crash). But I just didn’t have the drive, apparently. Harlan Pepper have already released a well-received album with a second coming up, and they’ve opened for tons of cool bands including the wonderful Elliott BROOD.

In a similar vein is a sixteen-year-old electronic artist from Vancouver who goes by the name Le Roi Crocodile. He’s only released three tracks so far but he’s masterful at what he does, and lots of blogs have picked up on him, including the Toronto electronic music blog Silent Shout.

Music aside though, there’s no end to stories of kids and teenagers who kick ass, like the golfer Michelle Wie or that fifteen-year-old kid who is now studying math at a university level or something (apologies, my memory’s foggy on the details).

I have to wonder about what motivates these people to do what they do. They’ve certainly got a lot of willpower; maybe it’s a drive to want to achieve something, maybe it’s encouraging parents, who knows. I only wish there were more kids like them.

There’s a downside to this empowerment of the young, though. On Tumblr, a place I unfortunately reside from time to time, there’s a growing contingent of teenagers who believe they know the world better than adults do. To a certain extent, they certainly deal with different things than their parents had to, but they aren’t by any means wise beyond their years. Life experience, I believe, is ultimately what makes a person wise. Sure, you can have lots of knowledge of the inner workings of a political system but if you can’t make toast then you probably won’t survive on your own.

People have always said I’m smart, but I’m not wise to all the ways of the world yet. Once I am comfortably working full-time and moved out I feel like I’ll finally be able to accumulate some wisdom.

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